When chef Lynne Marie Rinaldi opened Paradiso in 2005 two blocks from where she grew up, she sparked a restaurant renaissance in a section of South Philadelphia formerly known as a source for spaghetti with gravy. By proving that an upscale, sleek eatery can flourish in what was once Rocky country, Rinaldi has developed a reputation as a pioneer and a devoted following. Favorites are the remarkably light potato gnocchi with tomato and basil; rabbit cacciatore with mascarpone
polenta; and any of the pastas, made fresh—of course—nearby at the Italian Market. The extensive wine list includes some varieties even oenophiles may never have heard of.